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« Even if Ebonyi has no Male Child | Main | Of Nku Ukwa, Chibuzor Onwuchekwa, and World Igbo Congress’ card-carrying Members »

July 14, 2006

Whose Eulogy Next, Armed Robbers?

Godson's Common Sense: by Ndubụeze Godson III (Chicago, IL)--- If some things as they say never change, must we then succumb and let bad things thrive? Once more you are invited to my essays which admittedly can be copious but today I hope to not get too carried away. My knack for details may be blamed on horror of ambiguity a quick jot that may not go far enough might entail. My preference usually is to cover deeply in one fell swoop for the purpose of reducing or utterly eliminating the labor and time associated with writing.

What the puff is about today are these articles: “The Military In Nigeria” and “The Nigerian Police Force.” It almost succeeded in making the two worthless units look to non-observant minds like brain surgeons. And for the first time ambivalence will trail my script based on my relationship with the author of the articles in rejoinder. Before I delve too far let me reveal my bias for the Nigerian police, I can’t stand their butt! Having thus known you can see how painfully dissatisfied I was over these articles that over glorified the two most vicious Nigerian outfits with delightful expertise in battering the citizens. From the torrent of accolades they received one can with ease see its unfairness to all the people (99.9%) that have suffered their complimentary brutality. To further shove the point how bad these two organs are, this essay will be dedicated to all whom at one point endured unmentionable pathos in their hands. But let me quickly add that this is not, repeat, not a public reprimand of the author who unless he abdicates, remains a fighter for the people. Mine should only be seen as a friendly disagreement with alternative perspective that hopefully will discourage any implicit support for evil because wrong is always that and both institutions in focus have, oh my God, kicked the folks too hard in the groin.

Part of my thing is for all the good folks out there to have nothing further hurtful piled on oppressed people in Nigeria whose piteous sufferings deserve around the clock compassion. And story telling articles about Obasanjo’s presumed accomplishments or the importance of government sanctioned armed robbers; police, military, customs and all strike deadly blows to them! The articles about how wonderful and nice the military and now the police are written by someone I admire his intellectual prowess should not preclude me on that basis from letting it be known before some buy into it that in every aspects of Nigerian life, nothing has changed to earn them such good press reviews. Left to me, anything that does nothing to ease the pains of people the British occupying force lumped together in that concentration camp they call Nigeria should be avoided. But come o, if this unworkable British idea as we have known was a terrible one, who is stopping the Nigerian rogues from undoing it, Biafra, since the Igbo gets blamed for everything? By exercising the option to reach this good brother slash friend (a complete Izon warrior) through a public medium, I intend for my message to cut across board to keep in remembrance the atrocious profiles of the organs of government attempt was made to elevate to unearned status. Knowing how serious this is, I dumped a private means in favor of this mode to draw this brother and others away from the new sing-a-loud hymns simply because I do not want the seriousness of my message to be lost in a private chat. With that, I ask to be excused to go ahead with this essay that has for days been waiting for the send button. It is with brotherly love with no less penalty and for the good of the Order as we say in the Craft it’s being done. Throughout the duration, the trowel, an important instrument of the Craft will be utilized to spread this love in the hopes that the import of my message will simmer fully, for; “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” – Palm 133.

What does one do when a respected messenger of goodwill drops the ball in two outings with rains of encomiums on two most vicious parastatals whose members are anything but civil? Again, the Order comes to bear and in such scenarios one is required to maintain temperance while extending his cable tow to the brother/friend to keep him within bounds. After reading those expressions of how wonderful the Nigerian army, more like militia and the poorlice are, I wondered how long before someone give the armed robbers too their media dust up. Knowing what Andy Warhol had to say about everyone getting their fifteen minutes of fame, my imagination wondered off to calculate when, before the common thieves are also seen as not appreciated enough? With the military and police having more than their fair market share of fifteen minutes to stardom enquiry minds are pleading to know how long before the armed to the teeth robbers get their own pardon? As the saying goes, if it is shrimp patté for the army and police it must be the same for the robbers after all not much difference exist between them. The police and the army boys rob so too the men of underworld who during my teen years in the sixties were called boogie-boogie or man-must-wack. So since they all do, steal that is and usually at dusk and with guns too, are all then not “armed robbers?!” How the corrupt rulers of Nigeria define who is, is of no use to me. I will not let the real definition be lost in the confusion the authorities bring to the table all in their dishonest attempt to look eminent than their street colleagues. Just in the same manner I know a clandestine mediator to be a “secret agent” is how one and one was put together to know that the Nigerian cops also are dangerous armed desperados. In all areas of their operations a careful and frank analysis will show their extreme criminal attitudinal tantrum towards the citizenry. Only a couple of days ago we were told how the gang that for no reason stole one Adamu Jibrin’s life as with other robberies, wore police uniforms and in fact were the police. During a robbery operation in my family’s country home few years ago, no interest was shown to report the attack on the fear that the police may well be it and going by the spent shells, all fingers pointed to them. Imagine that!

When they are not spitting insults on road users and others who are unfortunate to come in their contact, they are busy extorting hard cash from both parties to a dispute with no attention given to their constitutional duties of securing lives and properties yet we must see them in nobility? Going by the new trend of making excuses for the police and the military iniquities, when, I seek to know before we are told of the importance of the night operators in the lower cadre who are disrespectfully identified as armed robbers? If the Nigerian military and their robbing police partners that are of no benefit to the country with their general unprofessional laziness are suddenly seen in high regards by my friend and the likes of Alfa Belgore (Chief Justice?) with troubling ignorance of the law that portends grave danger to democracy yet sadly at present is a custodian of the constitution, then trouble looms larger for the ordinary man than previously calculated. If the police are seen favorably by some despite their badly abyss performance over the years then the menace the so-called “armed robbers” bring upon the society could be downplayed too. After all without them zero need will exist for the punishment called police. Had the insubordination of the unlicensed robbers towards the government not stymied their ability to secure official clearance, they too will today be operating with the same open impunity as their police counterparts. As the equal opportunity destructive killers the robbers in the lower class are, they do not discriminate. With them both the ordinary folks and the police who usually seek safe shelter on the mere sighting of their evil twins are mowed down. When this poorlice are not in operation, if you catch, the class derogatorily referred to as armed robbers, thank God, keep them alive to the task of pretending to be of benefit to the populace.

It is not a matter for guesswork for one to know that the Nigerian police have for the past thirty plus years in a stretch been murdering innocent people with nothing as serious as trial and conviction seen yet we are to bow each time we see one of these roaming outlaws whose professional appearance is comparable to a roaming undergrad on rag-day. That the government failed to provide adequate uniforms and things are no excuse for them to look like street urchins when we should know that indiscipline is the cause of their embarrassing actions and looks not money. Having been told how their government issued uniforms are sold to the other robbers, I seek therefore to be enlightened how they could escape blame? While at it, when did their job description change from protecting and serving and when necessary apprehend the criminals without being a pain in the rear of the law abiding ones to executioners? These same robbers some still see as police at any given time constitute themselves as the sheriff, judge, jury and executioners so anyone who sees them with admiration will unknowingly be dishonoring the memories of all the families whose members met with ultimate violence in their hands. Is there still any justifiable reason for what we read every day about innocent motorists and school children being dropped like flies by stray bullets fired by these ill trained bastards? To convince me about how hard they work knowing fully well about their constant criminal intent will be a hard sell. Even when the situation is by no means hostile one is always on the edge as a result of their malignant fingers tightly pressed too close for comfort on the trigger. So, I ask to know what the emergency is for their jitteriness in squeezing the trigger on the slightest provocation as if a school pupil will shoot back at them with his books or pens. We cannot excuse their attitude to point guns at responsible road users for a task that requires only a wave of the hand to accomplish as if they are about to pull over a murdering psycho on the lam.

Ok, ok I get it, these days in Nigeria, commercial drivers for unexplainable reasons use their horns as slug shots which make these trigger happy terrorists to always point and shoot defenseless drivers who are out to make a living. Joke aside, I am really having a hard time remembering the last time a cop was shot with a car keys or something in that range. Yet people make excuses for them by blaming “bad apples” in their midst? The weakness of this type of argument is had institutionalized corruption which trickles down from top to bottom not been the case, exception could have been made for them. The same sentimental harbor I have for Nigeria as a good for absolute nothing waste is how I see the poorlice. Thus, before they are elevated to the status of Mary Magdalene we must keep in mind their waylaying fondness for commuters for the only goal of dispossessing them of their wares, monies and in most cases lives too! Another episode of police irresponsibility happened just weeks ago in Onicha when a young lady returning home from computer classes was mortally wounded by their aimless shot that missed their intended target, a cyclist who rebuffed their N20 extortion fee. What made the young lady’s premature death sorrowfully harder was the arrogant criminal refusal by the same police to sign the paperwork that would have speeded treatment for her since another archaic law as with most things Nigerian, requires a police report be obtained prior to any treatment for gunshot victims. In a country hopelessly over patronized by unethical men who are muzzled by their brains, crap like this will top government policies until a Ghana type cleansing is performed. No diploma in rocket science is required to know this, people. If an INNOCENT victim of police bullets must obtain a clearance before treatment is administered, then things can not be said to be falling apart, but are indeed busting loose at every part of the seams.

When it comes to the Naziria police and her militia sidekick, their obvious no progress beyond the primitive stage must be imbedded in peoples’ long term memories. Which any future accolades must take notice of. To have given such unconditional welcome to them reflects vicariously to their doing things differently from past and I do not by any inflation take this to be. I can not even begin to narrate my personal experiences in the hands of these robbers in government issued uniforms, but will let one suffice. Once, a messy situation arose at a time I attempted to make a quick drop off at a car park in Port Harcourt. One drunk in tattered black clothing screeched something to this effect; “you cannot park there!” At a motor PARK, guys! For honestly wanting to know where else and how I could DROP off someone about to board a public transport if no parking was allowed in the area and considering I had no intention of “parking” I was invited to their stench filled station by an ‘officer’ whose whole body reeked of booze. On duty! Crazy, isn’t it? Forget the semantics and say the invitation felt more like conscription since I did not look forward to it, but my broda all it took to let their gross crying for help indiscipline ride was a quick reminder of the Igbo saying about the unequal strengths of a man and that of a stampeding unguarded cow. Thankfully, on getting to their station the chief headhunter who was not yet drenched in booze was sober enough to immediately ask me to go having been told of my question asking ‘offense’ which does not constitute a crime in any statutory books. Had my heat been with me at the time, I may have staked that son of a gun cop out for later cancellation. I tell no lie. Though many years - seven has elapsed I still bear that painful and humiliating experience which articles that eulogize them resonate.

As for the military, the question to answer is, does that discussion about their divine importance to Nigerians cover their murdering rampages in Odi, Zaki Biam and other places? If so, what part of their actions then was professional to now be rewarded with golden plaque? Is the very army in discussion I continue to ask the one under Abacha that saw the erosion of what remained of military discipline? At that time, it was no big deal for a major to refuse the commands of his seniors and in fact on many occasions by way of example, Al Mustapha yelled orders to his superiors. The culmination of this erosion was the subsequent treatment like a scum of the disgraced number two guy, Oladipo Diya. Despite the disparity in ranks, Mustapha was able thanks to Abacha to stare down his military elders or even have them lie flat in submission to “beg oga,” as wont Diya. Still the army must be worshipped for rescuing Nigeria from the evil clutches of invading Martian forces or Cameroonian gendarmes? What exactly for my education are those roles the Naziria army played to secure the sovereignty of that country since according to history the failed state has never seen any external wars? What yardsticks were used to measure these strange feats of an undisciplined bunch? If no answers are forthcoming, then we can hardly be faulted for remembering that it was the actions of the same useless army that plunged that country into the dark sees of no return to civilization with their numerous hostile take over, so where I insist is this image being pushed down hiding?

Throughout my stint with the articles in review the thought that keep creeping in was, is this not the same military that was shamelessly repatriated back to Nigeria where they belong within forty-eight to seventy-two hours from one of their “peace” keep missions in Congo for exhibiting their usual bad behavior - raping, looting and murdering of the same people that were supposed to be under their protection? How about that for national image? The same article kept me gawking whether or not it is about the same kangaroo army rescued from the tight grips of the Sierra Leonean ragtag army by CNN civilian crew a decade ago? An army that flaunts court summons, it is! I do not want to reveal that the army that was glamorized as if we are strangers to what happens daily in a country that could be described nicely as a banana republic is the same one that always carries out every illegal order without as much a squirm. It is believed that articles that give undue attention to people who naturally should be tried for treason added impetus to the whacked idea by the Nigerian national assembly to reward military criminals with the passage of a lousy bill that will put insane amount of money in their pockets despite their past scandalous violent actions! Since every police review paints the same pathetic picture, it will be wrong for us to act as if all is fine and dandy especially in light of the indicting evaluation of them by ICPC as culled from Thisday of June 29, 2006. “The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (NEPA) and the Nigeria Police Force are the most corrupt public institutions in Nigeria.”

Ordinary Nigerians could not have had it so bad having been saddled in the last seven years since the history of that country with the worst of the worst. Many times I have said that Nigeria neither needs an army nor police as there is no real justification for their existence. All a country that have seen no external wars and not sure of winning one needs is a civil defense group to be trained in people management ala, community “policing” that may slowly with time transform into full blown police if the need arises with no encouragement given to the present fire brigade approach of cock and shoot unarmed civilians. Oh well, if so much time could be shattered by their national assembly pondering and finally passing a bill that stand to reward all the military vagabonds with more freebies despite their embezzling performances, then the case of the police only adds to the mystery. What remains elusive is how the national assembly plans to reconcile the clear discrepancies in handing huge entitlements to these ill educated coupists that stroll around with no consequence in spite of having committed all sorts of human rights abuses during their murdering rules. Folks engaged in public service announcements are asked to please keep hope alive by resisting any treats or traps that may lure them into something that is never part of who they are. People in this writing warfare have weathered the storm enough and to buckle now will spell doom for the cause. To remain resolute, people must! The full effect of diminishing returns in action can be seen in messages that take distorted stage to which I may, like most, turn blind eye but the police thing was the clincher that sent me tumbling down. A fumble that I hope was innocent.

As with all things that must conclude, today’s lesson is at its end and the prescription to fall back on some oldies when in a tense moment is looking attractive right about now. And I hope to do just that, search for sounds by Victor Olaiya – Angelina, Angelina otito wajo; Rex “Cardinal” Lawson - Abari Biya and Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi for the steady refreshment of the soul and the arousal of the mind to temporary remove self from the Nigeria commotion. Add Oriental Brothers and Peacock Band to that for the full effect to be complete. Another first for me is to follow the example of another good brother, Prince Charles Dickson who in many essays ends with the enchantment of some prayer lines. Mine will be: Lord, whatever may be responsible for the late turn around by some people who have been in the vanguard of exposing evil for all its worth should be cast to the seas in Jesus mighty name, Amen! We ask O’Lord that forces about to turn strong voices of reason, voices that has been bellowing out all the sins meted against the oppressed and deprived people of Nigeria, for you to reject such forces in Jesus name, Amen! Jehovah I ask you to bijọ/gbọja ha – scare them in Jesus name, Amen! Oh gracious Father who promised that where two or more are gathered in thy name, there you will be in their midst, to please not let all the people whose actions people are today suffering get away with their sins - be them Fulani, Igbo, Awusa, Bini or Tiv, let none who participated in the pillage of that nation get away with it or experience joy here or elsewhere, Amen! Please Lord forgive me but I must confess that I have no patience for any heavenly trial and its consequence thereafter, all I ask is for whatever you have in stock for these wicked bandits to land on them like tons of hot bricks now and always in your mighty holy name, Amin o!! Amen ooooooooooo! Ọfọr! Ọfọr! Ọfọr!

Ndubueze Godson III
biafraalways@yahoo.com

Posted by Administrator at July 14, 2006 12:14 AM

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